The Colorado Rapids come home from Portland on the short end of the proverbial stick, losing 2-0. We at the Wave have covered many of the ups and downs from Saturday through our recap and tactical analysis.
But as the Rapids prepare for Atlanta United at home this weekend (1:30 pm kick-off), here are some takeaways from Saturday’s match and more things to consider as we hit the home stretch of the 2018 campaign.
- Over the last three games, opponents have outscored the Rapids 10-0. The last time the Rapids scored was in California against the LA Galaxy on August 14th when Nicki Jackson scored in the 82nd minute. So, Friday, the day before the match, the Rapids will have gone one month without scoring in MLS play. (Remember, however, they did beat the USL’s Tulsa Roughnecks 3-2 in Memphis.)
- Portland held to form, holding the possession less than 50% of the time (44%).
- The Rapids had 10 shots on goal (three on target), compared to Portland’s 18 shots on goal (eight on target, two in the back of the net).
- The Rapids are now 6-15-6, stuck at 24 points over the last month. Last year, the Rapids accrued 33 points total (9-19-6). With seven games left, the Rapids need to develop a serious run of form in order to surpass last year’s point total.
- Since the MLS schedule increased to 34 games in 2011, the Rapids have more poor seasons than not. The Rapids had 49 points in 2011, 51 points in 2013, and 58 points in 2016 (one goal away from MLS Cup Final). The other seasons? 37 points in 2012, 32 points in 2014, 37 points in 2015, and (as mentioned previously) 33 points last year. Even with the way three of the last four years have turned out, the 2018 season could stand as the low point in team history.
- Whether the Rapids finish strong or not, this offseason needs to include some scoring threats. Our illustrious editor, Abbie Mood, so correctly put this, “A lack of finishing in the final third should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched a Rapids game this season. With no quality starting forwards and a complete lack of offensive spark, the Rapids have struggled to score goals for years. Until they start signing proven offensive threats (and not from some obscure or lower league), nothing is going to change.” Granted, Giles Barnes and Kellyn Acosta are terrific additions and that’s a start. But the Rapids need work from top to bottom of the roster, and no one (aside from Barnes, Acosta, and Castillo) should feel secure in their jobs.
- Rapids supporters were frustrated with Hudson’s comments, and well they should be. In essence, Coach Anthony Hudson noted that the squad played well “except in the final third,” providing zero threat. The frustration lies on a number of fronts, but sprouts from the same root: Hudson has apologized numerous times, yes. But do we hear of Hudson taking responsibility for the performance of the team? Is it not his and the coaching staff’s responsibility at the very least to have his team ready? Yes, the players bear significant responsibility as well, but the fact that supporters seldom hear Hudson own any of the challenges the Rapids have faced is troublesome. This loses locker rooms in any organization. (I visited the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, MO, last week. Prominently displayed was Truman’s famous phrase: “The buck stops here.” He assumed responsibility as a leader. Just sayin’.)
What did you takeaway from this game?